Photo Credit: Gili Yaari / Flash 90
Israli Minister of Energy Karin Elharar speaks at a Yesh Atid conference on September 22, 2021

Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharar found herself unable to enter the United Nations Climate Conference, COP26, because it was not handicap accessible.

Elharar has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair.

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For two hours she tried to find a way to enter the hall in which world leaders were speaking, trying first one entrance and then another – but none were accessible. She was then asked to board a shuttle that likewise was inaccessible.

Finally, she left the conference.

“I went to the international climate conference to promote the joint struggle in the climate crisis through meetings with my counterparts around the world,” she said in a tweet.

“Unfortunately, that was not possible because of accessibility programs for which there is no justification in the year 2021,” she wrote.

“I hope the necessary lessons will be learned so that tomorrow the advancement of green energy, removal of barriers and energy efficiency will be the things with which I will deal.”

UK Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan offered an apology to Elharar following the incident.

“I apologize deeply and sincerely to the minister,” he wrote in a tweet. “We want a COP Summit that is welcoming and inclusive to everyone.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.